There has been a media buzz of late about Scotland leaving the United Kingdom, and the campaign has made a lot more headway than people thought it would. While there are many things at stake if Scotland do chose independence, one of elephants in the room is energy. How will Scotland source its energy? Will the UK continue to subside Scotland and pay for their energy? How will it affect bill payers?
Tagged with 'ukenergy'
A new campaign calling itself 'Big Deal' has kicked off in the UK and aims to unite thousands of households against the 'big six' energy suppliers to drive down their prices - and it's getting quite a following. There's been an air of mistrust between the general public and the energy giants, and the gap has widened in recent weeks as some of them have announced profits and Energy Secretary, Ed Davey has targeted British Gas as a monopolising force, ruining the market. But can the Big Deal really make a difference?
Today it was announced that those customers who are looking to find out more about their energy usage and whether or not they're getting the best value for money, will eventually have access to a new quick and easy way of comparing deals. Secretary of Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey, announced Government plans to introduce the codes as a way of letting consumers get an instant, up to date market comparison. So how will this help us bill payers?
There's a lot of talk among the general public a roaring debate in political circles about how the UK should whether a potential incoming energy crisis. With all eyes on fracking one minute and nuclear the next, it's difficult for the average home owner to feel any sense of direction or gain control over the situation. This is something which has been made worse by the recent furore surrounding the energy companies and the mistrust they've earned through upping their prices - but you may have more control than you think as a home owner. Think efficiency. Think, design.
Nuclear power has proven an incredible divisive energy strategy over the years, with some singing its praises and others damning it as a dangerous and costly venture. Many supporters believe that the UK could reduce its emissions by up to 80% by 2050 if nuclear power is embraced and that it would do a good job of filling in the 'energy gap' left by fossil fuels. Opponents of nuclear cite the excessive cost, along with with environmental and ethical fallout and the drain it will have on funds which would otherwise go into renewable development. So with the Government so focused on short term fracking, how is nuclear looking as a prospect?
After large profit margins were announced from SSE and British Gas, it may not come as a surprise to many that EDF have also seen their earning increase in the UK. But whereas SSE and British Gas seem to be profiting from margins on their gas and electricity prices, EDF's £1.69bn in revenue last year was driven mainly by the success of its 8 nuclear power stations up and down the country.
In a bizarre turn around, energy giants are now showing some concern for consumers as they claim the Government's £12bn smart-meter roll out will entail unnecessary costs for consumers. Three of the 'Big Six' have warned that customers could be lumped with an extra £1.8bn on their bills following the plan to install smart meters in every home by 2020. So what's going on here? Have the big six really had a change of heart following their vicious price rises, or is there another side to the coin?
It's becoming increasingly difficult for households to cut their bills down. The big six have upped their prices and the Government have halved their commitment to providing poorer homes with subsidies to help with their insulation. The 'Energy Companies Obligation' or ECO bill was scrapped when energy companies cited the levy as the principle reason for driving up their prices. This hasn't helped the general public at all (save for a measly £50 saving on their annual bill). There are however, other ways to keep prices low and the public are clever enough to do it themselves.
Currently, many of the areas ripe with shale gas are under UK neighbourhoods. At the moment, shale gas operators need to request the permission of homeowners before they drill for gas under their homes, but that could all be set to change as ministers review laws preventing them from going ahead regardless. These 'trespass' laws are being examined to make it easier for energy companies to engage in shale gas exploration. With fracking already a touchy subject for many as a source of energy, it'll be interesting to see how this one plays out.
Today, the chairman of Co-operative Energy accused price comparison sites of ‘misleading’ customers and, as a result, increasing energy prices. Ramsay Dunning named uSwitch, Moneysupermarket.com and Energy Helpline, and gestured for them to come forward and reveal how much they charge in commission every time a customer switched accounts. Is this just political mud-throwing or is there some substance to the accusations?